What is search engine optimization?


Quick Answer

Search engine optimization is a marketing process that aims to increase the visitor count of a website by improving its visibility on search engines. Web designers and marketing professionals often abbreviate it as SEO.

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Full Answer

Because search engines work according to pre-written algorithms, their capabilities are essentially limited. SEO experts turn website content into a format that is available to search engines by catering to these algorithms. The better a search engine understands a website, the higher its relevance rating is. The higher the relevance rating is, the more traffic the website gets.

Likewise, search engines also take popularity data into account. Because the popularity of a website is directly linked to its relevance to a search query, SEO has a direct effect on both criteria. A well-optimized website appears more relevant to search engines and ranks higher in search results. By ranking higher, the website attracts more users and increases its popularity. In return, the increased popularity further improves the overall rating of the website and ranks it even higher in the eyes of search engines.

A vast majority of Internet traffic starts on search engines such as Google and Bing. As such, the visibility of the website of an organization on search engines is crucial to the organization. By searching for a term, the user indicates what type of content he is looking for. Therefore, a well-optimized website reaches its targeted users when the users are looking for the contents of the website.

Both Google and Microsoft offer some tips regarding search engine optimization. Some of these include: providing a clean URL hierarchy, using keywords in URLs, making sure that every page is reachable from static links and not overdoing rich media to the point of concealing the links. Flash Player, JavaScript and Ajax are some examples of rich media.

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